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When to go - Antarctica
When to go - Arctic Regions
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Visitor Guidelines


ANTARCTICA - INSURANCE

Each boat requests that passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation and mandatory medical evacuation and repatriation cover.  They shall not be responsible for any injuries to persons (whether or not resulting in death) or damage or loss to property. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger and the vessels will decline any responsibility whatsoever (also if not covered by travel insurance). Please ask us about our Travel Insurance Policy.

ANTARCTICA - TRAVEL ADVICE

There are passenger ships of a variety of sizes that sail to Antarctica and the choice of ship can make a big difference to your journey and experiences. There are rules laid down by the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) covering such things as the size of cruise ship allowed to enter Antarctic waters and covering conduct at landing sites in Antarctica. This is a voluntary organization and is well respected, you should always make sure that the ship / tour company you go to Antarctica with is a member of IAATO.

One of the main rules that will impact on your visit is that only 100 passengers at any one time may be landed in any one place in Antarctica. If you are on a small ship of up to 100 passengers, then you get a chance to go ashore every time. If the ship is larger, then there will be less opportunity for landings. Sometimes, trips ashore are time limited so that multiple groups can go, say for an hour or so before going back aboard the ship so the next group can go. Although, surprisingly, there are number of people who go to Antarctica and never leave the ship – the choice obviously is yours.

THE ARCTIC - INSURANCE

Each boat requests that passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation and mandatory medical evacuation and repatriation cover.  They shall not be responsible for any injuries to persons (whether or not resulting in death) or damage or loss to property. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger and the vessels will decline any responsibility whatsoever (also if not covered by travel insurance). Please ask us about our Travel Insurance Policy.

THE ARCTIC - TRAVEL ADVICE

The Arctic is, however, a vast region, comprising the northerly areas of Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Alaska (United States). In addition to reading the specific travel advice for each of these countries, prospective visitors to the Arctic should also consider carefully the potential remoteness of certain destinations from search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities. 

The most popular way of visiting the Arctic is by ship. As some areas of the Arctic -specifically the more northerly and remote regions – can be uncharted and ice-covered, you should check the previous operational experience of cruise and other operators offering travel in the region. You should also consider the on-board medical facilities of cruise ships.

The eight Arctic States take their international search and rescue obligations very seriously, and have recently signed a binding agreement on search and rescue co-operation in the Arctic. However, in the highest latitude regions of the Arctic, cruise ships may be operating in relative isolation from other vessels and/or inhabited areas. You should be aware that in these regions, search and rescue response will often need to be despatched from many hundreds of miles away, and assistance to stranded vessels may take several days to arrive, particularly in bad weather. Search and rescue assets are also likely to offer only basic transport and basic medical care, and are unlikely to be capable of advanced life-support. Responsible cruise operators should happily provide additional information relevant to the circumstances of the cruise they are offering, and address any concerns you may have. (GOV.UK)